About the Game-Changing Updates Ferrari & Red Bull Have in Store for Spanish GP Amidst Flaring Title Fight

Published 05/18/2022, 11:09 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 23, 2022 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the sprint race REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

Ferrari and Red Bull are in a class of their own this season. The two teams are battling each other and pushing their limits for race wins. Further, they have always been within striking distance, making for great overtaking spectacle and thrilling wheel-to-wheel battles.

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With 5 races completed, the cat-and-mouse race between the teams will take another turn as Formula 1 moves to Europe once again this season. In the early part of the season, we have learned that Red Bull has the straight-line pace advantage over Ferrari. The Reds, however, are marginally better at corners.

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Max Verstappen and Co have upped their game ever since his disastrous Australian GP. Back-to-back wins for the Dutchman mean he is breathing down the neck of Charles Leclerc. Subsequently, the gap between the two is just 19 points as Red Bull is closing in.

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Nevertheless, Ferrari are ready to step up their efforts in Barcelona with a huge upgrade in place. Meanwhile, the Bulls have been constantly upgrading their car with every passing race. And in Imola and Miami, it finally clicked. With the Spanish GP approaching, it is time to look at the upgrades in place for both teams.

Upgrades in place for Red Bull and Ferrari

The next two races in Spain and Imola will be fascinating, to say the least. The F1-75 has shown promise from Bahrain and has capitalized on Red Bull’s reliability issues early in the season. However, the Bulls were right back in contention with some important upgrades in Imola.

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 20, 2022 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the race REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

They reduced the weight of the car, thanks to the new floor and redesigned brake calipers. Add to that some aerodynamic changes to the floor, as they secured a 1-2 in Ferrari’s home soil. Moving to Miami, further weight-saving measures were taken, which made the car lighter and quicker on the long straights in the venue.

With the Milton-Keynes team having a lot of momentum, Ferrari seemed to have played the waiting game. And now they are ready to strike back with upgrades. They tested their upgrades in a closed Monza circuit, so we will know the results only during the Spanish GP.

The reports suggest the Italian team are bringing a new rear wing to reduce drag, and reduce the weight of the car by stripping paint along with adjustments to the floor and sidepods. Meanwhile, Red Bull is also making some adjustments by decreasing the weight further.

How will Red Bull and Ferrari fare in Barcelona?

With budget cap in play, it is crucial for the teams to get their development right. As the margins are tight, both the teams are under immense pressure to deliver as the title race intensifies.

A trend this season has been for teams to start off with a more conservative aero package, as there was comparatively lower downforce required. However, in Barcelona, teams will have to do something different.

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They will have to move up the downforce curve quickly, as overtaking might be difficult because of the long, high-speed corners. Further, teams will have to be clever with tire management during the race without suffering too much degradation.

The high-speed corners could suit Ferrari, but they also could also have an issue with porpoising. Moreover, it will be interesting to see what Red Bull has on the table. Reports also suggest that if the Prancing Horse nail their package, they could improve by 3 or 4 tenths.

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DIVE DEEPER

Monza Fully Shut as Ferrari Tests ‘Secret’ F1 Upgrade In the Build-Up to Spanish GP

about 2 months ago

So, the Spanish GP could be one of the races that define the championship. There are a lot of questions to be answered, but who do you think will come out on top? Leave your predictions in the comments.

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Rahul Madhavan

380 articles

Rahul Madhavan is a Formula 1 writer at EssentiallySports. After completing his Bachelor's degree in business administration, he is pursuing his love for sports in the form of writing. Rahul is an avid McLaren fan, who also enjoys writing about soccer.

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